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Okay. So. This is most likely the stupidest question ever. But I've never used the mail for more than sending a letter - and I haven't even done that in several years - and getting a zine-like magazine I've subscribed too. And my parents have always bought the stamps.

So my question is: how do I actually pay for the postage?

I've read Zinester's Guide to U.S. Mail, and I don't think anything about how to actually go about paying for the postage was in there - though, correct me if I'm wrong, as I do tend to skim over stuff. And, no, I'm not trying to diss the Guide or anything. Lol. It definitely helped me understand all the different rates and options and rules.
Are there, like, special stamps you have to buy or something? But the postage changes with every fluctuation of weight, so I don't see how that would work.

I read the Media Mail topic on here, but I got kinda confused when people started talking about "$0.00 stamps" and "postage meters" and stuff, most likely because they all know what they're talking about. xD

Thanks so much for any help! :D

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You can either buy stamps at your local post office, or you can buy them online and have them delivered to you. You can also just take your envelopes to the post office, wait in line, and have them do all the postage for you. If you're doing it yourself, you figure out what your zine (in the envelope) weighs, then apply the appropriate amount of postage for that weight. You can check how much postage you need by using the calculator at the USPS website or using a postal rate sheet (like this one).

Yes, postage changes with increased weight. So if you're going to do a lot of mailing, at some point you may want to get a small scale. They sell postage scales that weigh by the ounce at most office supply stores. You can also take your envelope to the post office and have them weigh it -- as long as you're sending the same thing all the time, you know what the postage will be.

I tend to mail a lot of things of different weights, so I tend to keep a lot of different denominations of stamps on hand, so I can add them up to the desired weight / postage. You can use stamps in any combination to get the amount of postage you need. For example, if you are mailing a 2oz envelope in a 6x9 envelope, that's going to cost $.59. You can buy stamps that cost $.59, or you can use a $.42 stamp (which is for a regular letter) plus a $.17 stamp. Or $.42 and $.10 and $.04 and $.03.
Thanks a lot, guys! That should help a lot. :D


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